ACTS OF OMISSION OR NEC*-801
the mother had ten days before the child's death passed four needles into the
heart, lungs and liver. Death resulted from sepsis with purulent inflam-
mation of myocardium and bilateral pleurisy. At the _ post-mortem exami-
nation the needles were found in the right heart and the liver and had left
behind a deposit of iron in the tissues and as a result of the damage to the
right heart congestion had been produced in the region of the vena cava
which had led to a typical atrophy of the h" ver ceUs.
G. B. Sahay of Patna reported to me a case of kfeirticwle, in wh^h a
newly-born female child was murdered by squeezing the abdomen. _ Post-
mortem examination revealed externally the presence of a small bruise on
the abdomen and internally laceration of a coil of the small intestine and
rupture of the liver and spleen.
1 Poisoning. Prison is rarely used for the purpose of infanticide, though
sometime! cmde opium is put on the tongue of a child or it is smeared on
the nipple of the mother's breast, which is then given to the child to suck.
Other poisons, such as arsenic, madar, datura, and tobacco are also used for
destroying newly-born infants. In suspicious cases, the stomach and other
necessary viscera should be preserved for chemical analysis.
B. ACTS pi1,. OMISSION OB NEGLECT
Thelaw..presu^ies^that a woman who is about to be confined, should
take-ormary precautions to save her child, after it is born. .Shea .guilty
of criminal negligence if she fails to do so. ^S^- omission or
neglect constituting the crime under the law are
1. Omission to take the necessary help of a midwife or a skffled tfcysi-
cian so tnafpJoper arrangements may be made to save the clnld after its
birth. A married woman, or one who has borne children, is presumed by
law to know her duty towards her newly-born child. As soon as she gets
labour pains she must inform her friends of her condition, and must send
for medical aid. IL^he. ,has failed to take any of these precautionary
measures she may raise the following two points ui <*& ence .
(1) That she was not aware of her pregnancy till the birth of her child.
(2f7That she fainted away owing to the sudden onsent of violent labour
pains, and did not know what followed next.
In connection with the first point, it must be admitted that in rare cases
it is possible for married women, who become pregnant for the first tone
very late in life or have not conceived for many years after the birth of
their last child, to go to full term without being a^are of then- condition.
They attribute the symptoms of pregnancy to so-me disease.
by a clear vaginal discharge. On examination she
at full term, Is she had never suspected that she was
regularly as usual for four or fivedays at a tin*, and
digestive disturbance. Her abdomen and breasts lri
confinement The woman gave birth to a normal infantthe n^day rfto e^ukionj a
considerable amount of amniotic fluid. Hobbs*) describes, a ^case i in L w^ch. he was caUed
one night to' see a young married woman said to be suffering from acute abdommal pam.
On examination she was found to be in labour, but sh? >^ Twi f nS Xr^f
She was delivered of a healthy child of 7J pounds in ^TfiS^S^fly fi?2il^to
first pain. There was no evidence of quickening, and she felt perfectly bt and used to
play tennis during the whole period of gestation without being conscious of toe fact tte*
she was pregnant In fact she went out for a twelve-m^e walk wife her husbanclfc
day before the child was born. Dr. Robinson, Obstetric House Surgeon ^Km
Hospital, Lucknow, described to the author a case where a Hindu married wc
42, who had five previous pregnancies, the last onej**ng fifteen years vago,
19. BnweZles ATed., April 19, 1925, p. 843 ; Brit. Med. ^J, ^"
20. Brit. Med. Jour., March 3, 1928, p. 382 ; see also Brit. Med. Jour